Network of Homebased Workers
in South Asia

Voices of Homebased Workers

My name is Nasim (16 years) and I live in a slum community of Mohammad Nagar, Dhaka in a joint family having 12 members. I am studying ARABI and also do Homebased work of Kar Chuppi (3 hour daily). I am the only sibling helping my parents to increase the family income. I can make 2 pieces everyday and can earn 1000-1500 BDT in a week. My father is a Auto driver, he earns about 50-100 BDT daily. My elder sister got married 4 years back and has two children but her husband left her. So my family and I take care of them. I do not have any opportunity to develop my skill so that I can work to make better products and earn more. Who will help me to develop my skills?
Ms. Chey Touch (Yun Sophea),
My name is Ms. Chey Touch (Yun Sophea), (44 years). I am a widow and I live with my 4 children in Phnom Peah, Cambodia. I am an own account homebased worker and make Bracelets and soft toys from beads and waste materials. I am able to earn around USD 200 per month by working for 10 hours per day. My back pains and my eyes are strained a lot because I work for long hours. I have lots of problems with getting regular income because I find it difficult to purchase raw materials required and therefore cannot make and sell the toys in time; which leads to irregular income to support all the household expenses. I am member of a homebased worker's group. When homebased workers like me join such groups it increases solidarity among us and we can also help one another in our work being in a group. Who will help me to acquire regular income?
I am Rita Sanasam (40 years) from Imphal East, Manipur. I weave RANI PHI since I was 16 years old. RANI PHI (local name) is a Saree woven from Cotton and Silk which can be woven in a week by working for the entire day. I can earn about Rs.1050/- per week. I sell the finished product for around Rs.700-1100/- per piece (depending on the embroidery) to the local cloth dealers as I do not have direct contact with the market. And the local dealer sells it in the market with a profit margin of Rs.700-1000/- per saree. I have no option to save myself from exploitation because I do not have direct links with the market. We do not have any group (like SHG) formed here or else we could have linked our group directly to the market to earn more profit. Who will help me get Better market access?
I, Jaya Magar, am 43 years old. I was born in Sankhuwasabha, Nepal. My life has been a struggle since childhood. My mother died after my birth and my father married somebody else. So I lived with my grandmother and aunt. Even after I got married, my struggle did not end. My In-laws were very poor and lived in a big joint family. Six months after our marriage I found out that my husband had tuberculosis. Because of the economic problems, inability of my husband to work; soon we had to leave the house and migrate to Kathmandu. Since then we are living in a small shack in Khadipakha slums. I have 3 daughters and 2 sons but the youngest son died when he was 3 years old. My husband cannot take up hard work (due to his health) so he did petty contract work, therefore I also started spinning wool to increase the family income. In daytime I spun wool and at night I weaved gloves and caps. I also did labour work at times or any other work available because I had a big family to feed.

To add to our misery; my elder son was diagnosed with one kidney failure. This shattered our entire family. I somehow managed to transplant his kidney with donations from organizations. But the medical expenses kept mounting up. My son needs to be taken for electrolysis at least twice or thrice a week. Every single time it costs about Rs.1,500- 2,000 and it is extremely difficult to manage. My son too helps me to weave gloves and caps.

I am able to earn about Rs.2000 per month by spinning wool and what I earn from weaving is spent for my son’s treatment. The rest of the earnings are used for the household expenses. I have lost all hopes now. Who will be able to help me to increase my income?
I, Zarina Ghulam, (26 years) am a homebased worker and live with my Husband and 3 children in Sialkot, Pakistan. My husband does daily wage work so the income is not enough to meet the family expenses. I am illiterate but strongly feel that I should contribute in some way to improve our economic condition. Therefore I do embroidery work and manage poultry at home to increase the family income. I am leading a miserable life but I don't want the same for my children. I am working hard just to give a better future to my children. I want to give them higher education so that they may become officers one day. Homebased workers should be given social security and all other facilities like other formal workers. If we are given these facilities, we will be leading a better life and our work will improve. Who will provide social security to us?

Ms. Nuchnapha Banrungna,
My name is Ms. Nuchnapha Banrungna, (35 years) am married and have 3 children. I live in the suburbs of Khon Kaen, Thailand with my husband, who is a farmer and 3 children. I make Fishing nets and get paid on piece rate basis. I am able to earn 3000 Thai Bhats per month by working for 12 hours per day. My back and arms pain a lot due to the long working hours. And I do not have any health or social security. I learnt this skill of making fishing nets from family members as we have been making them from generations. I have not learnt any other skills, neither do I have access to any other job opportunities because I am less educated and have the responsibility of the household course too. I am a member of a homebased worker’s group. I feel that it is important for homebased workers like me to get organized in a group because only after joining the group I understood about Occupational Health and Safety, collective resource mobilizing, became aware of health and hygiene and could build up my self –confidence. Who will help me acquire occupational health and safety?

(As approved by the Board of Trustees on 05.09.2014)


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Vision Statement

HomeNets in South Asia envisions a scenario in which Homebased Workers are visible, protected, promoted, empowered ..

Newsletter,Issue 1